U.S. deeply concerned about Turkey's airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-26 03:51:26|Editor: yan
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WASHINGTON, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The United States said Tuesday it is "deeply concerned" that Turkey conducted airstrikes in Syria and Iraq without "proper coordination" with Washington or the coalition forces.

"We have expressed those concerns to the government of Turkey directly," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a regular news briefing. "These air strikes were not approved by the coalition and led to the unfortunate loss of life of our partner forces in the fight against ISIS (the Islamic State) that includes members of the Kurdish Peshmerga."

The Turkish warplanes on Tuesday conducted airstrikes targeting the positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, killing at least five Iraqi Kurdish fighters and wounding ten others, local Kurdish media reports said.

The Turkish jets, in the early hours of the day, hit the PKK positions in different areas in northwestern Iraq, but the Iraqi Kurdish fighters who were close to the PKK positions apparently were killed by mistake.

Meanwhile, the Turkish military said it has carried out airstrikes against suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq and in northeastern Syria, in a bid to prevent militants from smuggling fighters and weapons into Turkey.

Toner also noted that the Iraqi government had expressed concerns with Turkey's airstrikes, stressing that "military action in Iraq should respect Iraqi sovereignty."

"It is vital that Turkey and all partners in the effort to defeat ISIS coordinate their actions as closely as possible as we work together to maintain pressure to destroy ISIS on the battlefield," the spokesman said.

The PKK, which wages a separatist war against Turkey since 1984, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.